In a little over six weeks I will gather with many of my fellow writers at the Romantic Times 25th Booklovers Convention. Most of us will be meeting for the first time. There is much anticipation and excited planning going on in the background. There are several special events that the authors are invited to attend and all of them require fancy dress.
Since my idea of fancy dress is an unpressed pair of grannie jeans and a t-shirt, there's been some heartburn at my house over the entire shopping and acquiring event. I'm not much for shopping in any case, but shopping for fancy stuff is way down on my list of favorite things to do. I misplaced my girly-girl genes a long time ago.
There will be a host of workshops and getting-to-know you events. I don't do well in huge crowds but I plan to give it my best shot because there are people I need to know and things I need to learn. It amazes me that some authors actually look forward to mingling with strangers.
Perhaps the events that both terrify me and excite me at the same time are the two book signing events. One is an e-book signing where I'll be signing cover flats for three of my books, Chrysanthemum, Honeysuckle, and Cherished Destinies. I understand that the companies that market e-book readers will be there demonstrating their wares. The other event is a print book signing. I'll be signing my first print book, Dancer's Delight.
It's a scary prospect. What if no one comes to my table? What if no one wants one of my books? Will I sit alone at a table in a sea of tables crowded with eager readers? I'm a new writer. To paraphrase... "What if they gave a book signing and nobody came?"
I suspect that there are other new authors having similar thoughts to mine. At my age, there are so many new experiences that I seem to be facing every day. One side of me says, "Who cares?" And the other side admits that no one likes to suffer humiliation. There are echoes of those long ago school days when I just died because I was always chosen last. That's generally your fate when your always the new kid in class. By the time I made friends we were off, on the move again.
So I've decided to look on this as a once in a life time event--an unlooked for opportunity to meet men and women face-to-face that I've met via the Internet. We all have expectations about what the other ones will be like in person. I'm pretty sure that the others will be surprised when they meet me. To put it bluntly...I'm a grandma. People who are familiar with my work always look at me with this wounded look and moan, "But you're a grandmother!"
My pert and perky days are past. Now I'm in the rocker and chocolate chip cookie phase, seasoned with a liberal helping of support hose and Miss Clairol. I still suffer from a certain wistfulness for those younger, skinnier, whisker-free, more limber days of my youth, but they're long gone. So I'll just have to settle for not trying to scare the patrons away. And I'm reasonably secure in the hope that my fellow frogs won't notice that I'm a strange shade of blue.